Chapter 17: Dealing with Bede
"Wake up Ruby."
The silver-haired girl groaned as her eyes opened up and she lifted her head. It felt like her brain was being squeezed inside her skull as it flared with pain from whatever it was that had knocked her out. Her vision slowly came to, a blob that was a mixture of grey, purple and pink coming into view and forming a more recognizable shape to her. Her eyes widened as she realized who it was that was standing in front of her. She was so enraged at the sight of Bede that the headache she'd woken up with suddenly seemed to disappear.
"Bede?! What the hell are you doing here?!" Ruby snarled, "I thought the Chairman told you to go home!"
She tried to throw a punch at him only to realize her arms wouldn't move, or rather couldn't move. She looked up and saw to her horror that her hands had been tied up above her head with thick rope binding them to the tree she was backed against. Ruby suddenly felt very vulnerable in this position as Bede could do whatever he wanted to her and she wouldn't be able to defend herself. She tugged on her arms but the ropes held firm. She had no chance of escape. Bede stood where he was, clearly getting some sick pleasure from watching Ruby struggle. How wonderful it felt to see his sworn enemy so helpless!
"Let me go you arsehole!" Ruby snarled viciously.
Bede responded by viciously slapping her across the face. Ruby winced from the hit and her cheek stung heavily from the attack. She refused to show any sign of weakness to him, keeping up the defiant glare in her eyes despite the pain in her face.
"Let's make this very clear Ruby: you're in my hands now and you're in no position to demand anything of me." Bede said coldly, "I've got you right where I want you, so you're going to shut up and listen to me."
"Go to hell!" Ruby spat venomously, "Why are you doing this to me? Where are my Pokémon?"
"They're safely in their Pokéballs still." Bede explained, "It's just your bag is completely out of your reach so you'll never get to them. As for why I'm doing this, it's very simple. You cost me my Gym Challenge, so now I'm going to cost you yours."
"Oh, I cost you? I cost you the Gym Challenge?" Ruby said incredulously, outraged that he was daring to blame all this on her, "In what way was it my fault that you got disqualified? You destroyed that mural, not me!"
"Yes, but you challenged me to a battle instead of minding your own business." Bede muttered, "If you had just gone on your way instead of interfering, I'd have done my job and been on my way and you wouldn't be in this position you're in now. You only have yourself to blame."
"Why is it with you arseholes, it's always other people's fault and never your own?" the leather-clad teen said in disgust, tugging on the ropes again, "Even if I hadn't gotten involved, you would've been caught anyway as your actions would've drawn attention from other people than just me. It's your fault you got disqualified and nobody else's!"
"I'd watch your mouth if I were you because if you talk to me like that again, I'll get Hattrem to knock you out with another Psywave!" the grey-haired boy threatened.
So that was what had led to her being knocked out. Ruby could see how Bede had managed to get the drop on her so easily.
"So what are you going to do to me?" Ruby asked, looking up at her tied hands, "You going to torture me? Kill me even? Like you said, you've got me exactly where you want me."
"And I'm very much enjoying seeing you all helpless and at my mercy." Bede crowed, patting Ruby's cheek where he'd slapped her earlier. He'd already left his mark on her, a nasty bruise marking where he'd hit, "I actually intend to just leave you tied up here. What better way to get my revenge then leaving you here to starve to death?"
"You're a monster and I can't believe the Chairman ever endorsed you!" Ruby said fiercely.
"Petty insults won't get you anywhere." Bede sneered, "However, there is one way you get your freedom back, dear Ruby."
"Does it involve me kicking you repeatedly until you untie me?" Ruby said bluntly.
"Almost. There is one thing you can do to me that'll get you untied." Bede said coolly, "You can swear your fealty to me. You see, your glowing hair could be of use to me still. If you join me as my assistant, you can help me find more Wishing Stars with your strange hair and I'll give them to the Chairman as a way of getting back in his good graces, maybe even get him to rescind my disqualification. I'll even reward you for your help if you like."
He then put a hand to Ruby's face and tenderly stroked her cheek, making the teen girl cringe in disgust.
"Just say yes Ruby, and I'll set you free." Bede said softly, "Choose carefully, because I'm only offering you once."
Ruby wasted no time in picking her option. She responded by biting Bede's hand as hard as she could. The Psychic Pokémon trainer howled in anguish, his yells so loud that some nearby Impidimps and Ponyta scampered away in fright. He tore his hand away from Ruby and clutched it tenderly. She'd bitten him so hard that she'd drawn blood. Some of his blood was all over Ruby's lips and teeth. She gave Bede the scariest glare he'd ever seen in his life while spitting some of the blood on her mouth out.
"I would rather rot in this forest then EVER join you, you sick, twisted, ass-kissing, stuck-up little cockroach!" Ruby snarled.
"Then be my guest you ungrateful girl!" Bede growled, "Don't say I didn't give you an option! I hope the lack of food and water makes your death an agonizing one!"
He decided to have one last hit on Ruby by punching her as hard as he could in the stomach with his uninjured hand. Ruby was winded by the blow and left coughing and spluttering. If she hadn't been tied to the tree, she'd have keeled over form the punch. Satisfied, Bede turned on his heels and walked away. But he decided not to leave without at least one final word.
"Oh and don't worry about your Pokémon. I'll take them for myself instead of leaving them in your bag. I'll have great use for them." he sneered.
It was for sadistic reasons of course, just one last twist of the knife to wound her more as she was left to rot away. The very idea of her Pokémon being used by him would easily make Ruby feel even worse. Ruby watched as the dark forest of Glimwood Tangle swallowed him up. The moment he'd gone, she looked up at her hands and struggled again, desperately trying to free them. If she could just slip them out of the ropes or get the knots undone, she'd be free! But Bede had been very careful with his work. The knots were far away from her hands so she'd never reach them and the ropes were too tight so she couldn't simply slip her hands through. She was trapped, doomed to waste away in this dark forest. Ruby's heart pounded with worry. What could she do?! How could she get out? Then it occurred to her. Maybe her Pokémon had sensed something had happened and had come out of their balls to find her! It was worth a shot. Even then, there was always a chance another trainer or just somebody would pass by through this forest. She was far from done for. Ruby screamed at the top of her lungs.
"HELP! SOMEBODY, PLEASE HELP ME!"
There was no answer. Ruby tried again.
"SOMEBODY, PLEASE HELP! I'M TIED TO A TREE! PLEASE HELP ME!"
There was no reply again. This was starting to get worrying. What if nobody would ever come? No, don't think that way! Somebody would come and find her! Ruby was about to scream a third time until suddenly, she heard a familiar voice calling back out to her.
"Ruby?! Is that you? Where are you?"
"Vesuvius! Vesuvius, oh thank Arceus it's you! I'm over here! Help me!" Ruby called back.
She could hear rustling up ahead. Somebody was coming towards her through the bushes. Her heart leapt with excitement as she saw that it was Vesuvius the Coalossal, the huge Pokémon plodding slowly through the vegetation towards her. Vesuvius spotted her and ran over to her, relived she was alive but horrified to see what had happened. She had Ruby's backpack in her hands, presumably having found it whilst looking for her.
"Ruby! Thank Arceus I found you!" Vesuvius exclaimed, "Who did this to you?!"
She especially took note of the nasty bruise on Ruby's cheek, enraged someone had dared to assault her trainer like that.
"It was Bede! He wanted revenge on me for his disqualification so he tied me up and left me here to die!" Ruby explained.
"He did not! Surely he did not!" Vesuvius exclaimed, horrified, "I had no idea humans could be this awful to one another! How could he do this to you?! If I ever see that boy again, I'll Rock Blast him until there's nothing left of him!
"Believe me, I'll stand back and let you do it!" Ruby laughed, "Untie me, quick so we can inform Opal what he's done! She'll know what to do!"
Vesuvius got straight to it, the rocky Pokémon approaching the tree and simply reaching up for the ropes with her hands. She was big enough to reach them so she had no trouble simply grabbing the ropes and using the heat of her body to burn through them, snapping them apart easily. Ruby brought her hands down, relieved to be free. She rubbed her sore wrists better and massaged her shoulders. She then rewarded Vesuvius with a big hug for her rescue, only to quickly let go of her as she was too hot to be in contact with for too long.
"Thank you so much Vesuvius! I'd have been a goner if I didn't have you!" she cried.
"It's the least I could do for your curing my crippling loneliness." Vesuvius said kindly, "I sensed something was wrong, as did the other Pokémon in the bag so I came looking for you. I tell you, I was really scared that something had happened to you! I'd never been so worried in my life!"
"This was definitely the scariest thing that's ever happened to me too!" Ruby said breathlessly, "At least you got me out of there. Come on, let's go to back to Ballonlea and tell Opal what Bede's done!"
"I can't imagine the Chairman will approve of his ex-endorsed trainer's behaviour when he hears about this…" Vesuvius said coldly.
She handed Ruby her backpack and allowed herself to be returned to her ball so Ruby could carry her and everyone else with her. She picked up the ropes, deciding to use them as evidence on what Bede had done and ran off to Ballonlea. Bede had gone too far this time and he was going to pay for what he'd done…
It took a matter of minutes for Ruby to get back to Ballonlea and inform Opal of what had happened. The elderly woman had been about to go in to prepare for her next challenger before Ruby barged in and caught her attention. She informed Opal of everything from the fact Bede wasn't supposed to be here due to being disqualified to what he'd just attempted to do to her, even presenting the ropes he'd used to tie her up as evidence to back-up her claims. The Fairy Gym leader looked horrified to hear what had happened. She'd gone white in the face and looked as if she was about to faint. Ruby waited for her to recover, feeling guilty that she'd had to bring this up and give her such a shock. She knew it had to be done.
"My word…I never thought that anyone as young as him could be so vile!" Opal gasped, "We must find that boy and apprehend him at once before he threatens another trainer's safety! As long as he's walking around, he's a danger to all trainers and he must be stopped right away!"
"My thoughts exactly." Ruby said, rubbing her cheek as the slap mark began to sting again, "I'm so disgusted that it could even cross his mind to do anything like this! I'm going to warn Hop. You can handle the rest."
"I shall indeed, dearie!" Opal declared, "I will not tolerate this evil on my watch!"
She left to call the other Gym Leaders to warn them about Bede and what he'd done to Ruby so they could keep their whole towns or cities on high-alert for the Psychic-type specialist and have him arrested immediately. She'd even passed the message onto Chairman Rose, earning one of the very few times he ever lost his temper and expressed anger over anything.
"That insolent boy! I told him to go home and I warned him what would happen if he dared to go near Miss Silverlock!" he snarled, "When I get my hands on him, he'll never own another Pokémon again! Thanks for bringing this to my attention Opal. I'll have all Macro Cosmos staff around the region on high-alert and have him punished for this act of evil!"
While this had been happening, Ruby had rung Hop up just as she said she would. As soon as he picked up, Ruby quickly informed him of everything that had happened. There was a long silence on the other end of the phone as Hop took in what he'd just heard. Ruby imagined he couldn't believe what she'd told him. Then he replied, sounding angrier than she'd ever heard him before.
"THAT BLOODY JERKWAD!" he screamed, forcing Ruby to hold the phone away from her ear so it wasn't too loud, "If I see that bastard, I'm gonna smash his face into the ground for what he did to you! Nobody ties my friend to a tree and gets away with it! Thanks for warning me Ruby. If I see him, I'll let you know."
"Kick his arse for me if you want!" Ruby encouraged, "I'll see you whenever I can. Be safe Hop and watch out for him."
"Will do. See you later, mate." Hop said, ending the call.
He pocketed his Rotom phone and gritted his teeth, rage firing through his body as he mulled over what Ruby had told him. He couldn't begin to imagine how frightened she must've felt being in such a terrible position. He was glad her Pokémon had been able to find her and rescue her as quickly as this whole thing had started. He wanted to be the one to find Bede so he could flatten his smug face into mush. If anyone was going to make him suffer for his crimes, it was him!
Hop had set off earlier than Ruby had due being a little restless and waking up pretty early. Instead of trying to sleep some more, he'd reasoned with himself it would be better to make his way over to the next Gym already. After his battle with Ruby in Stow-on-Side, he'd gone on to win the Ghost and Fairy Gyms himself, taking on Allister shortly after Ruby had left to deal with Bede by the mural and making his way over to Ballonlea while she and Sonia had been looking at the mysterious statues. He'd arrived there just before Marnie did and had managed to win, meaning that Opal had suffered three losses in a row last night. Now he was here in Hammerlocke City and making his way over to Circhester just before Ruby had called to warn him about Bede. He decided to ignore the next Gym for now and focus on finding Bede so he could make him pay for what he'd done to his best friend. Dealing with him was more important than getting his next badge.
Hop sighed loudly and did his best to clear his head. He could do without getting all angry and fired up for the moment. He wanted to calm himself and be more focused. He'd find Bede easier with a clear mind. As the purple-haired boy made his way through Hammerlocke, he kept his eyes peeled. The entire region was looking out for him so it wouldn't hurt for him to look for Bede here just in case. If he wasn't anywhere, then he could always look in another town. Wouldn't it be just his luck if he found the jerk in the next town he was supposed to be heading towards for his next Gym? Hop looked left and right as he passed through the streets. Bede would be easy to spot. That stupid coat he wore wasn't exactly subtle. At first, he saw no signs of him. He didn't seem to be about and he wasn't in any of the buildings he walked by. Hop considered bringing his Pokémon out to help him search for Bede. With their superior senses, they'd have an easier time tracking him down.
And then, against all odds…he spotted him! Bede was hanging out near the Pokémon Centre, looking as if he was trying not to be seen. Perhaps he knew that everyone was looking for him and had to be stealthy. Or maybe he was worried that the Chairman would notice he hadn't gone home and was trying to get back so he wouldn't notice he'd disobeyed him. Regardless, Hop had seen him and was now going to sort him out. But first, he quickly drew his phone out and hurriedly texted to Ruby. He wrote:
Hey Ruby, I found him! He's in Hammerlocke! Come quickly! Gonna sort him out for you!
He sent the text and put his phone away. Then Hop stormed up to Bede, allowing anger to carry him forward. Hammerlocke became a blur around him as his surroundings no longer mattered to him. Bede didn't notice Hop coming as he came away from the Pokémon Centre, looking to his right to make sure he wasn't being watched. He then turned to his left…and was immediately greeted with a punch to the face. Hop swung his fist at him, throwing his head aside and sending him reeling with the single punch. He'd hit him so hard that Bede even lost a tooth from the attack. He clutched his mouth in pain with his good hand. As he groaned from the punch, Hop noticed that his other hand was bandaged up. Clearly Ruby had managed to leave her mark on him before he'd left her to die. Bede wiped his mouth, his face throbbing from the punch.
"For Arceus's sake, what the hell's your problem?!" Bede demanded angrily.
"Try to guess, jerk-face!" Hop retorted.
Bede thought for a minute. He was tempted to guess that Hop was mad about the last time they'd fought each other. He knew who he was facing and he imagined Hop was still sore about that loss. But this seemed different…more personal somehow. This was more than just a simple loss in a Pokémon fight. His eyes narrowed.
"It's about Ruby, isn't it?" Bede muttered, "She must've somehow escaped and told you what happened. I was worried about that as I couldn't find her Pokémon again when I came looking for them…"
"Unlucky for you as now I'm here to make you pay for it!" Hop growled, "What the hell is wrong with you when you think doing this sort of thing is OK?! Do you have ANY heart at all?"
"She got what she deserved!" Bede declared angrily, "Ruby got me kicked out of the Gym Challenge! I'm merely returning the favour!"
"You wrecked a historical monument with a Pokémon belonging to the Chairman and somehow it's Ruby's fault you got disqualified?" Hop asked, confused over Bede's appalling logic, "Do you even LISTEN to yourself sometimes? I'll bet if she didn't catch you in the act, someone else would've. Would you have done the same thing to them if that was the case?"
Bede was about to answer, but he stopped himself. Truth be told, he had no answer to give for he'd never considered that fact. He supposed he wouldn't have as it was only Ruby had had a beef with, no one else. But who was the Champion's brother to judge him? He snorted.
"Don't lecture me, Hop." he spat, "If you're seriously that upset over what I did to your girlfriend, why don't you make yourself useful and complain to someone who gives a damn."
"She's not my girlfriend!" Hop retorted, "She's my best mate, that's all! And is that seriously all you have to say over that you did? Do you even care about the fact you basically left someone to die in a forest?"
"I gave Ruby an offer in which I would've let her go if she'd accepted and she rejected it." Bede muttered, "She brought it on herself for not accepting my offer and doing this to me!"
He pointed to his bandaged hand, confirming Hop's theory that indeed she'd been responsible for that.
"You're about to get worse from me than a bandaged hand!" Hop growled, "I challenge you to a rematch! We'll have a three-on-three battle and the first to lose all three Pokémon loses! If I win, you apologize to Ruby and turn yourself in for your crimes!"
"And if you lose, which you will since you're no match for me?" Bede sneered.
"Then I forfeit my place in the Gym Challenge." Hop declared.
Bede shrugged. A fair wager, he had to agree. It would be nice to have Hop lose his position in the Gym Challenge so he could at least feel better about his own disqualification.
"I accept the deal." Bede said, smiling confidently, "I bet Ruby will be very upset when she finds out you won't be joining her for the rest of the circuit."
"Dream on, slime ball." Hop scoffed, "I've learnt plenty since last we met so I'm totally gonna kick your bum."
He drew out his first Pokéball and threw it.
"Rillaboom, hop into action!" he cried.
"Hattrem, warp your enemies!" Bede called out at the same time, throwing his first Great Ball.
The two Pokémon materialized onto the field and Bede was met with the first sign that this battle wasn't going to go like last time. Hop had finally managed to fully evolve his starter Pokémon, his Thwackey no longer a Thwackey but the mighty Rillaboom. Rillaboom was a giant gorilla-like Pokémon with a huge head of grassy, green hair, powerful arms and a wooden drum kit that it loved to play either in battle or out of it. It was a very powerful Grass Pokémon and was always guaranteed to put on a show with its mad drumming skills. Bede was annoyed. He hadn't been able to fully evolve any of his Pokémon yet as he hadn't been able to get any training in due to his revenge scheme on Ruby. Hop had a fully evolved Pokémon so he would have the edge in terms of power. He was still confident he would win though.
"Hattrem, use Psywave!" he commanded.
"Rillaboom, use Brutal Swing!" Hop cried.
"Rillaboom gonna hurt bad trainer's Pokémon very badly!" Rillaboom screeched.
Bede very quickly realized that he was doomed. Brutal Swing was a hard hitting attack in which the Pokémon using it swung its body around and hit everything on the battlefield. It was also a Dark type move, the very type his Pokémon were weak against! Rillaboom swung his body around just as Hattrem used its Psywave attack on him. Rillaboom was unaffected as he ploughed through the psychic waves and slammed straight into Hattrem, knocking it back and sending it crashing into the wall of a nearby shop. The single attack had knocked it out, stone dead in one blow. Hop showed no remorse over how quickly had knocked Hattrem out. Ruby had told him that was the Pokémon Bede had knocked her out with so he was glad to have paid it back for doing so. Hattrem lay slumped against the wall, completely conked out by Rillaboom's attack. Bede was speechless.
"But…how…?" he stammered. He couldn't even form a proper sentence.
"I told you I've learned plenty since we last met." Hop sneered, "I even made sure I had a Pokémon that knew a super-effective attack against Psychic types just in case I ever fought you again!"
Bede returned Hattrem to its ball and got his next one out. Hop may have won this round, but he still had two Pokémon left to turn the tide of the match.
"Very clever." he begrudgingly admitted, "But you're far from winning this match! Ponyta, warp your enemies!"
He threw his next Great Ball and summoned the beautiful Ponyta to the field. Hop didn't show any signs of being concerned. If anything, he looked completely relaxed, in his element as if he'd become a mirror-image of his brother whenever he was having a champion time. He knew Ponyta weren't strong Pokémon capable of taking hits well and he was coming at Bede with a stage three evolution, meaning his Pokémon was at its strongest stage! This would be a piece of cake.
"A Pokémon that pretty really deserves a better trainer." Hop sneered, "I hate to do this but at least it'll make you pay for your crimes! Use Brutal Swing again!"
"Rillaboom make bad trainer pay!" Rillaboom roared, waving his drumsticks wildly.
He swung his body around once more, hurling himself towards Ponyta.
"Quick, dodge it!" Bede exclaimed.
But Ponyta was much too slow. Rillaboom's speed was much higher than Ponyta's so the horse-like Pokémon was helpless to defend itself as Rillaboom slammed straight into it. As Hop had expected, it was another one-hit KO. Ponyta never stood a chance against such a powerful Pokémon. Ponyta slumped on the ground at Bede's feet, lying on its side completely defeated and unable to fight anymore. Bede frowned, annoyed that the trainer he'd defeated earlier was now somehow making him look bad. How was he losing so easily when he'd defeated him so easily earlier?! He returned Ponyta to its ball.
"You're not gonna win this one!" he cried, "I already beat you before, I can do it again! I've had enough humiliation at Ruby's hands, I won't be humiliated by you too!"
"Are you gonna fight, or are you just gonna stand here and rant all day?" Hop retorted, "You're boring me to death here." he added, mock yawning to emphasize his point.
Bede growled viciously. Hop was beginning to sound a lot like Ruby now. This would make his eventual victory over him all the more satisfying! He threw his last Great Ball, bringing Duosion onto the battlefield. Hop once again remained cool and confident. He knew he could win this and even if he didn't, he had a Ghost Pokémon on him as back-up to take care of Bede's last Pokémon. There was no way he was going to lose!
"Let's make it a hat-trick, mate!" Hop cried, "Rillaboom, one last Brutal Swing!"
Rillaboom did just that, throwing himself towards Duosion like he did the last two times. Bede tried to command Duosion to attack but it was no use. Rillaboom came in too quickly and slammed straight into his Pokémon. Duosion was struck full on by the attack and thrown into a nearby lamppost. The lamppost took the impact and didn't even fold, but Duosion hadn't been as resilient. It slumped to the floor, completely defeated and left groaning as it fell into unconsciousness. Bede stared in horror as he took in what had happened. The three-on-three match was over and he was the loser. Hop had won, and very easily at that! He couldn't believe his eyes. How could this be?! How could he have lost to the trainer that he'd defeated just the other day?! He fell to his knees in shock. He was having trouble breathing. The city seemed to be turning on its head all around him. Hop cheered excitedly, punching the air triumphantly as Rillaboom banged his drum, playing a victory tune as he celebrated with his trainer.
"YES! We beat him! Whoo, in your face! Take that, crap-head!" Hop exclaimed.
"Rillaboom so happy with his victory! Rillaboom and Hop make bad trainer pay for his evil doing!" the grassy gorilla boomed excitedly.
Bede didn't even registered Hop's insults and victory dancing over him. He was too shocked with his defeat to register anything. It was like he'd phased out of existence and everything was just empty space around him. He wasn't quite where he was anymore, no longer able to feel anything. He closed his eyes and cringed in despair. The humiliation was too much for him to handle. He pounded the floor in anger.
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" he howled, "THIS CAN'T BE! HOW COULD I LOSE TO YOU?!"
"Simple, I got better whereas YOU didn't." Hop retorted, "Now when Ruby gets here, you better mean that apology you owe her! Though frankly, I think any apology you give her isn't enough to make up for what you did to her. Heck, I won't be surprised if she doesn't even want an apology from you!"
He soon got his answer for a familiar voice called out from behind him.
"OY! Bede! I owe you something!"
Hop turned around and saw that the very girl he'd been talking about was literally just a few feet behind him. His face brightened at the sight of Ruby, looking enraged but otherwise OK aside from a bruised cheek. He imagined Ruby had taken a Flying Taxi to get here as quickly as possible, hence how she'd gotten from Ballonlea to Hammerlocke so fast. He was tempted to say hi to her but he instead respectfully stood back as Ruby marched towards Bede as if she was about to pass a death sentence over him. He grinned wickedly, outright inviting her to do her worst.
"Hey Ruby, he's all yours." he crowed.
"Thank you Hop." Ruby replied, an edge to her words as she spoke them.
Bede got to his feet and glared at Ruby as she came towards him. How he'd hoped he'd seen the last of her! Why did she have to come and rub salt into the wound?!
"If you think I'm gonna apologize for what I did to you, forget it. You're below anything from me…" Bede began.
He was very quickly silenced as Ruby grabbed him by the shoulders and launched her knee straight into his groin for the second time since their rivalry had begun. She'd kicked him much harder than before, her knee driving so hard into him that Bede squealed in pain and doubled up in agony. He thought Ruby might have broken something. The worst pain of his life shot through his body, stabbing through him so much that he couldn't even stand up anymore. He would've collapsed if Ruby hadn't still been holding him. She had hold of his shoulders still, shaking him viciously and then pinning him to a lamppost.
"YOU MONSTER! YOU UTTER, UTTER MONSTER! YOU LEFT ME TO DIE IN THAT FOREST AND YOU DON'T CARE!" Ruby exploded, utter rage surging over her body and driving her forward as she screamed in Bede's face, "YOU'RE A MONSTER THAT EVEN GIRATINA ITSELF WOULD BE DISGUSTED AT! I'M GONNA MAKE YOU WISH YOU'D NEVER BEEN BORN YOU SORRY EXCUSE FOR A HUMAN BEING!"
She drew her arm back, ready to flatten Bede's face into mush with a well-aimed punch. Bede flinched and closed his eyes. For the first time in his life, Ruby was actually scaring the living crap out of him. She'd never been such a terrifying force of nature before! But then a familiar voice called out to her, stopping her dead in her tracks.
"Ruby, that's quite enough! I'm sorry that Bede left you for dead, but you don't need to resort to this any further. I'll take it from here."
Ruby turned to see that none other than Chairman Derek Rose himself was standing there, a couple of police officers by his side and looking very serious. One of the Macro Cosmos employees had spotted Bede and had quickly informed the Chairman of it so he could come and deal with him. It was lucky for Ruby and Hop that he just happened to be in the power plant under Hammerlocke Stadium at the time. Ruby let go of Bede, leaving him whimpering on the floor in terror and pain and she stumbled back, her hands trembling and her eyes welling up. Hop could see his friend was in an extreme moment of stress and needed a moment. He pulled her into a hug, allowing her to cry into his shoulder as all her grief and anger was released. She could let it all out and no longer have to deal with the stress of what had happened. The two officers strode over to Bede and picked him up by both arms. He couldn't walk so they would need to carry him off. He didn't even try to resist, looking more eager than anything to get arrested just so he could get away from Ruby. Chairman Rose glared at him, his arms folded disapprovingly.
"I'm disgusted with you." he said coldly, "It's bad enough that you tried to destroy a historical monument back in Stow-on-Side, but to try and commit murder by tying a trainer to a tree and leaving them there to rot? I thought I'd taught you better than that! I guess I'm not as great a judge of character as I believed I was. I hope a long, long time behind bars will teach you a lesson. I have to say Bede, I'm so ashamed that it's had to come to this."
Bede said nothing. He couldn't even look the man who had taken him in in the eye anymore. He was too ashamed and guilty to do so. It was like he'd accepted that what he'd done was wrong and he deserved whatever was going to happen to him Rose turned to the officers.
"Get that horrible boy out of my sight." he ordered, "Lock him up in the first juvenile centre you come across."
"At once sir." the first officer said, saluting.
"I always hate it when we have to lock up the young ones, but no one is exempt from the law." the second officer muttered, "Let's see how you like having your freedom taken away, sonny."
The two officers dragged Bede away. Ruby was still crying into Hop's shoulder so she didn't even get to watch him be taken out of her life for good. She didn't need to. She knew that finally, FINALLY, she was free of him! She would never have to worry about him again. Chairman Rose gave Ruby a moment to get her bearings back before he came over to her and put a hand gently on her shoulder.
"I am so sorry that you've had to experience something so awful." he said sympathetically, "I never could've anticipated that Bede would do something so…so monstrous! It beggars belief that he'd ever go the extra mile and cross that line! I don't know what to say…if I can compensate you for Bede's actions in anyway, I'd be happy to. As I'm the one who endorsed him in the first place, I kinda feel like he's my responsibility in a way. I'm a man of much wealth and resources so I can get you anything you may ever want."
Ruby wiped her eyes.
"Y-you owe m-me nothing, sir." she stammered, her voice shaky from her crying, "N-none of th-this is your fault. B-Bede chose t-to do this to me, and I'm g-glad he's paying for it. He got what he flipping deserved, if you ask me."
"I wouldn't have put it like that myself, but yes, I assure you that he'll never train another Pokémon again, or walk freely through this region again." Rose declared, "All his Pokémon will be released into the wild so they no longer have to live under his influence and he'll be locked away for as long as I see fit. Unless he shows change, I doubt he'll be walking out anytime soon."
"Good. He deserves to rot in a cell for what he did to me." Ruby spat venomously.
"Well regardless, I'm glad that this intense rivalry between you is finally at an end." Rose said, sounding relieved that the whole matter had been put to bed at last, "I hope never to hear of any Gym Challengers committing such atrocities ever again. Have a safe journey from now on Ruby, and I hope that Bede's actions won't put you off of completing the rest of the circuit."
Ruby gave a small smile of appreciation.
"Thank you, Mr. Rose." she said softly, "And don't worry, Bede hasn't changed my mind at all. Now I know he's gone for good, I can carry on my journey, safe in the knowledge that I'll never see him again."
"And she's still got me with her to boost her up again!" Hop cried supportively, "We'll both be fine together for the rest of the challenge!"
"Good show, young man." Chairman Rose said brightly, "Now then, I must get back to Project: Eternatus now that Bede has been dealt with. I'm quite excited to bring it to fruition and I hope you two will be there to see it happen."
He turned on his heels and headed off back towards Hammerlocke Stadium to go to the power plant the stadium contained so he could get back to his work. As soon as he'd gone, Hop put an arm around Ruby comfortingly.
"How do you feel, mate?" he asked worriedly.
He was concerned that the whole experience with Bede might've damaged her in some way. Had Bede scarred her deeply and she'd be a completely different person from now on? But Ruby didn't seem too badly affected. She was clearly still shaken from the whole thing but was otherwise looking a little more like herself again.
"Relieved." she said simply, "Just…relieved that he's gone and is getting the justice he deserves. Let me tell you, being tied to that tree was the scariest moment of my life! I really did think I was done for until I called for help and Vesuvius found me! I never want to experience that again!" she cried, hugging herself tightly.
"Thankfully, you won't have to." Hop said brightly, "I'm glad I was able to get my own back on him by utterly defeating him in a battle so I could leave him open for you."
"You had a rematch with him and won?" Ruby gasped, "That's awesome Hop! I wish I could've seen you beat him! That would've been cool to watch!"
"At least you got to see something even cooler with Bede getting arrested." Hop noted, "Say, how's about me and you get some ice-cream together and forget all about Bede and his criminal behaviour?"
Ruby smiled brightly at her best friend.
"I would love that." she said eagerly.
The two headed off to get some ice-cream together, glad that the business with Bede was all over and now the two could continue their Pokémon journeys in peace. No longer would he cast a dark shadow over an exciting and fun time. They'd be able to have fun again and enjoy themselves from now until the tournament over in Wyndon…